Article Abstract

Broncholithiasis: retrospect of 15 surgical treatment patients

Authors: Dongliang Bian, Peng Zhang, Huibiao Zhang, Ke Fei


Background: Broncholithiasis is a rare disease with life-threatening event. The purpose of this study was to describe our experience in patients with broncholithiasis managed by surgical treatment.
Methods: From May 2008 to November 2014, 15 patients were diagnosed with broncholithiasis in Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital. They all received surgical treatment.
Results: A total of 15 patients, including 2 males and 13 females, were identified with a median age of 54 years (range, 36 to 70 years). The indication for operation was the patients who had single symptom or several symptoms, such as persistent or recurrent cough, hemoptysis, chest pain etc. Furthermore, asymptomatic patients who were suspected of malignant were also surgically treated. Postoperative complications occurred in 4 patients (26.7%). Four patients (26.7%) had cough and/or hemoptysis after surgeries. Moreover, 1 patient recurrent (6.7%) with broncholithiasis appearing in a new location and 2 patients had the postoperative infection (13.3%). Thoracotomy was performed on 13 patients. In this group, 2 of them infected within 1 month after the surgery. The other 2 patients accepted video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and 1 of them occurred recurrence 9 months after surgery.
Conclusions: Surgical resection is a crucial and conventional treatment for broncholithiasis with low risk of mortality and morbidity. However, VATS is a new technique that makes patients have the potential of recurrence. Therefore, this paper suggests that thoracotomy is the best surgical treatment for patients of broncholithiasis who need to accept surgical treatment.